God Most High

Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  I sat down today to write about having a high view of God. “This should be easy,” I thought to myself. “After all, there is so much to say about how big, how awesome God is, it should be no big deal to write that down.” I was wrong. It is a daunting task indeed to mentally plumb the depths and scale the heights of the greatness of God. I invite you to take a little trip with me as I trace my thoughts on this subject. Let’s consider…. …The human body – full of complex intricacies and delicately balanced systems that centuries worth of scientists have not fully comprehended. …Outer space – miles upon miles of vastness, galaxies of stars and our own solar system, all of which contain inexplicable features that inspire scientists and artists alike to marvel. …The Oceans – murky depths and shallow wonders, teeming with life and color, mystery and intrigue. …Underground caves – revealing another world’s worth of pattern and scenery, creatures and mineral growth. …Animals – from insects to birds to crawling creatures, the wild assortment displays design. …History – Approximately 6,000 years of time, filled with a mosaic of events that together make up His Story, the working of God through the lives of men. Even with years of incredible scientific advancements, scientists still can’t comprehend the immense mysteries that remain. All of these things together merely scratch the surface as a representation of the created universe. “But,” you may ask, “What does this have to do with the bigness of God? You can’t use the physical world to discuss that – it’s got to be all spiritual.” In fact, I believe that the investigation and marvel of the physical world is a vital part of the study and worship of God. Many people object to a God who asks us to believe in Him, though He is not seen. I can understand the argument, but it is actually unfounded. Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Belief in God does require faith, but that does not mean that He has given us no proof! His power, nature and attributes have been on display since Day One…..literally. So I ask you this: is your God big enough to be Savior and Creator? Or has the deception of evolution caused you to have a low view of God? Little inconsistencies in our beliefs can often lead to hairline cracks in our faith. At first they may be invisible, but they can eventually result in a decaying foundation. If we do not believe God could have created the world and all it contains in 6 literal days as it says in Genesis 1,...

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An Unexpected Surprise

Posted on Sep 5, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 2 comments

  I had an unexpected surprise not too long ago.  A man on a motorcycle appeared in our yard one afternoon, and I was puzzled about who he was and what he wanted.  As I was pondering, I came to the conclusion he was a friend from Nebraska… but what was he doing here?   He lived over 500 miles away!  As we exchanged greetings, he let me know that he took the risk of driving to Grand Junction so he could learn more about creation and Genesis.  We had a wonderful two days of fellowship and discipleship.  I used some of my PowerPoint creation topics to teach, as well as a leisurely drive through the Colorado National Monument to explain the evidence of the world-wide flood of Noah’s day. He commented the following about the scientific evidence we had discussed, “Taking me up on Glade Park (Colorado National Monument) and teaching me new things, has made God more awesome to me than ever. His power makes me shudder.”  Information on Genesis, creation, and the Flood does change people’s lives. As I reflected on the time I spent with my friend, I realized it is just as important to teach one person as it is to teach a huge group.  Normally I like to teach to a large audience, because I feel like I can reach more people that way, but that may not always be the case. Take for example Philip, in Acts chapter eight, who travels to the city of Samaria because of the persecution in Jerusalem.  In Samaria, he preached Christ to them and many were saved.  Next, the angel of the Lord sends Philip to a road which leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.  This is over fifty miles from the city of Samaria. This is a long way when traveling by foot.   God sends him there for the instruction of just one man about the LORD.  This man is the Ethiopian eunuch.  The eunuch believes the words of God and is then baptized.  Is preaching and discipling just one man important!  Yes, it is!  He had an influence on his own country. Now we come to the Labor Day weekend. The Johnsons, Sue, and I had the opportunity to minister at a Bible conference center located just north of Colorado Springs, CO.    We ministered to, none other than, an Ethiopian church.  Almost all of the adults had emigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia, and some of them could not even speak English.  As I was teaching, I wondered if Philip had an effect on these people through the instructing of just one man, the Ethiopian eunuch. I did not travel to Nebraska to instruct my friend about creation and Genesis, but I believe he was led by the Lord to travel over 500 miles to come and see me.  I wonder what effect he will have on the people in his area, including friends and family, with...

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The Human Brain – A Problem for Chance an Accident

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 in Johnsons from the Front | 0 comments

  In my last blog (The Mind Boggling Speed of the Human Brain) I wrote about the incredible speed of the human brain  … a man-made supercomputer (consisting of 82,944 processors … only 1 per cent of the neuronal network of a human brain) completed in 40 minutes the equivalent amount of activity that is observed to take place in the living brain within one second! To put that in perspective, that supercomputer is the equivalent of 250,000 personal computers. Yet the human brain, weighing in at only three pounds, can do the work of 1,000 super computers. The brain doesn’t need an external power source or cooling system because it makes its own electricity and operates with chemicals and only microvolts of power. If the brain’s estimated 10 trillion cells were placed end to end in a single line, that line would be over 100,000 miles long!1 The human brain has an estimated ten billion neurons (specialized impulse-conducting cells) and billions upon billions of connections.2 It has been calculated that the human brain can store up to 100 trillion bits of information. The most powerful supercomputer today can only approach 1/10th of one percent of that.3   The brain’s memory is able to hold an estimated 100 billion bits of information … that’s equivalent of the information found in 500 sets of encyclopedias.4 Computers are the product of incredible design, yet they cannot even begin to compare with the efficiency or complexity of the human brain. Is it really reasonable to believe that only time and accident could design such a marvelous structure? The evidence points to a designer, not to chance and accident!   1 http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/darwins-child-murdered 2 http://www.creationmoments.com/content/most-complex-structure-universe 3 http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/most-complex-structure 4 http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcripts/your-20-watt-brain   Lanny Johnson If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Creation Clubs In a Town Near You?

Posted on Aug 28, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  We love how God, in His amazing sovereignty, directs our steps before we have any idea of what’s going to happen. We experienced that recently when we planned a last-minute trip to California to witness my two youngest brothers being baptized. We sent out some emails and contacted several people to see if there was any interest, or opportunity, to do some speaking and sharing about our work with AOI. It has been amazing to see how God has opened doors for us! One great opportunity has been to get connected to a couple of creation clubs in the Sacramento area of California. One is called “Foundations Creation Club” in Cameron Park, CA, and was started by a 16 year old man who is passionate about sharing the creation message. They had a meeting planned for the night after we arrived in CA, and when we let him know that we would be there, he offered Brian the opportunity to speak on Ancient Man during a segment of the program. The night consisted of Brian’s talk, a showing of “Evolution vs. God,” and a talk by the founder of the club on “Noah’s Ark: Fact or Fiction?” The evening was attended by 70 people, and it was exciting to see such a well-organized, flourishing group. We look forward to seeing how God uses that ministry in their community! We were delighted to discover that there are multiple Creation clubs in the area, and had made plans to attend another one. Of course, God is always working and going before us, and He had prepared to bless us and the group itself in His perfect timing. Sadly, the Pastor who had been scheduled to speak that evening was sick, so the leaders asked Brian to fill in for him. So, though we were sorry not to get to hear him speak, it was a blessing for Brian to have another opportunity to share a presentation on the authority of Scripture and Ancient Man. Wow, praise be to our God who never sleeps and is always working! The chance to get connected to these clubs directly ties into our passion and desire to build up “Amateur Creation Speakers” across the country… and even the world. Many people may be excited about doing creation speaking, or want to receive mentoring and teaching themselves, or just determined get involved in Creation ministry somehow, but don’t know of any local venues. How many people have opportunities like this in their area and don’t even know it? We are working at developing ways to build up local groups like this, and to provide training opportunities where anyone with a God-given passion for creation can grow and develop their abilities to share this truth with others. So whether you are 12 or 72, remember there aren’t age-limits to serving God in the areas He is calling you!...

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Creation Evangelism

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  Looking back over this summer’s camps and VBS programs… we had a wonderful year.  We had a full summer with a number of different teaching opportunities.  Many of the campers either trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, rededicated their lives to the LORD, or just had a great time of discipleship. I have discovered using creation evangelism is a wonderful way to explain the gospel, and to proclaim the true character of God.  Using Genesis and creation science as our teaching tools, the students discovered interesting information about God and science. In Genesis chapter one, God the Creator, demonstrates His great power and intelligence in His creation. In Genesis chapter two, God reveals He is the Law Giver by giving Adam a commandment.  He is also viewed as the humble servant by making a very special place (the Garden of Eden) for man to live. God wants the best for mankind, so He supplies and meets every need for the man and woman.  We see the same characteristic with the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, when He washes the smelly, dirty feet of His apostles. Then in Genesis chapter three, God reveals Himself as the Savior.  Adam eats of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus bringing death and sin into the world (1 Cor. 15:22 – For as in Adam all die,…).  The expression, ‘surely die,’ means to be physically put to death.  Adam and the Woman are to physically die on the day that Adam eats of the fruit, because this is what the law demands and God, as the just judge, must carry out the law.  But, God as the loving God that He is allows a substitute sacrifice.  Adam and the Woman were covered with coats of skin.  Which means innocent animals became substitutes and died, so the man and the woman would live, thus appeasing the law. We know from Scripture that the death of animals does not take away sin and death, but God (‘The Word’ John 1:1, 14) takes on human flesh and dies for our sins.  He knows we can’t save ourselves, so the Servant of servants, Jesus Christ, does a task that no human being can do, die on the cross to take away our sins.  I believe this is God’s greatest act of love and servanthood.  All we have to do is trust in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to have our sins forgiven.  It is all very simple. When the campers understand the meaning of Christ’s death through creation evangelism, they realize their sinful state and believe!  Glory!   Rich Stepanek If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for...

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Creation in Kenya

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

    Alan and Diane Galbraith are volunteers with AOI and do a wonderful job working with the children. They shared AOI Discover Creation Children’s Adventure with missionary friends who are working in Kenya. The photo shows the Kenyan people using some of the resources in that VBS package. As you can see, the adults are really getting into it – besides the kids! This VBS package was developed by Lanny and Marilyn Johnson, who have been doing a lot of VBS’s on creation as well as family programs through AOI. So it is really good to see that missionaries are picking up this valuable tool to use in their own ministry. This is the type of multiplication that we are excited to see. Lanny came out of atheism after hearing Mary Jo teach about design. Later, he and his family joined AOI.  Lanny and Marilyn were eventually instrumental in training the Galbraiths. The Galbraiths shared the information with missionary friends and then the material goes to Kenya!  I hope that it does not end there, but only time will tell. As it says in 2Timothy 2:2: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” If you wish to consider using AOI’s Discover Creation Children’s adventure, you can see more of what it includes by going to our Kid’s Curriculum page on our website.   Dave Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Biblical Reliability Confirmed Again

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  FoxNews.com (July 18, 2013) reported on an archaeological discovery which once again supports the existence of the Biblical King David as well as the reliability of the Biblical record. In the very region where King David (Israel’s second king, 1010-970 BC) killed Goliath, a 10,000 plus square foot palace has been discovered. The palace is thought to be one of King David’s palaces and dates to the Biblical timeframe of his reign in Israel. Why is this discovery important? Many Bible skeptics have claimed that the existence of King David and his slaying of Goliath was purely fictional. However, King David’s existence was previously confirmed by archaeological discoveries as David’s name was inscribed in two ninth century BC texts, the Tel Dan Inscription and the Moabite stone pictured here. The latest discovery is very important as it clearly shows David’s stature as the ruler of Israel. Some have questioned that it belonged to David, but this large palace was found in the ruins of what is considered to be the Biblical city of Sha’arayim. After David killed Goliath, the Philistines ran away and were slain on the “road to Sha’arayim” (1 Sam 17:52). Sha’arayim is also mentioned as one of the cities “unto the reign of David” (1 Ch 4:31). So this discovery certainly fits the Biblical record. What about David’s slaying Goliath with a sling? Slings are known from both archaeology and written historical records as very important military weapons. Sling cords were up to 3 or 4 feet long and a typical sling stone was about 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter. (See the picture of a typical stone in my hand which I picked up in the very valley of the Philistine battle site.)  When the sling is rotated rapidly, the stone is hurled at a great velocity which can easily drop a “Goliath.” Are slings accurate? Oh, yes. As a kid, my brother and I made slings and practiced with them. Our practice was cut short one day after my brother let go too soon and his rock was propelled backwards right through the window of our house. It was a good thing my dad wasn’t watching out the window that day! Since it is known also that men of great stature (giants) have existed in the past and today, the account of David killing Goliath with a sling is not only believable, but is, as the Bible indicates, what helped to propel David to the position of the King of Israel and later to build one of his palaces in Sha’arayim.   Dave Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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An Inside Scoop to Children’s Creation Ministry!

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 0 comments

  A recent opportunity has become such a blessing to us, that I thought I would let you in on it.  As Aimee and I are just starting out and plugging in to AOI’s Creation ministry, God is continually teaching us. We had the privilege to go to Redcloud Family Camp and help out with the Children’s ministry. Alan and Diane Galbraith were in charge with a lot of help from their grandson, Griffin. Sue Stepanek, Aimee, and I were all able to help as well. So we had the inside peek to what goes on in the Children’s ministry. For five full days, we helped out as we could with plenty of teaching, labs, activities, crafts and more. We covered a lot of information and did a lot of hands-on learning. Aimee and I learned a lot of good classic activities and had a lot of great new ideas. If you have never experienced a Children’s Creation week, check it out. It’s great teaching on Dinosaurs, the Creation vs. Evolution debate, the amazing design of animals, the amazing fossil evidence of Noah’s flood, and I even shared about The Genius of Ancient Man (check out their blog). This includes great puppet shows too! There are great exhibits, demonstrations, and labs with a lot of dinosaurs, animals, fossils, shells, minerals, and other rocks. This is a great opportunity for kids to explore, observe, and do science for themselves. They even got to measure out the life-size perimeter of Noah’s Ark in a field outside, and explore the great scale of the universe online! The kids made some great things to take home to remind them of the day’s teaching including: A Constellation viewer using a Pringles can A Personally designed Dino T-shirt A Creation Bead wristband – to remember God’s order of creation in 6 days A Candle decorated with flowers picked by each kid A shell craft A fossil imprint plaster A homemade sock-puppet And More!   The kids even had a lot of fun memorizing 5-10 verses each and got little prizes to take home! Wow, what a great time…and a tiring time, but we are sure that God was working through that week! What an amazing ministry this is and can be for kids all over the country…or even the world! Praise God!   Brian (and Aimee) Mariani If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Enjoying God’s Creation

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

Mary Jo & I recently taught a week long kid’s camp at Camp Shiloh in Wyoming. On the way back, we decided to spend the weekend in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, enjoying God’s Creation… which we had been preaching about that entire week. I hope you enjoy the shots. These “older vintage” hikers managed a 12 mile hike high into the wilderness the first day. As if that wasn’t enough, the next day we took a 5 mile hike to loosen up the sore muscles.  Those sore muscles continued to chastise us about acting as though we were still in our 20’s! There are so many wonderful and spectacular places in this world and we feel privileged to be able to see some of it up close. By the way, the young bull moose did not even know that we were within 50 yards of him.  After catching a few pictures, we quietly snuck away. Wildlife is always more challenging than shooting rocks, lakes and flowers. The latter don’t move or run away. We were thankful that this moose was unknowingly quite cooperative. We hope you can slip away for a day or two and also enjoy God’s Creation wherever you might be. Take advantage of those opportunities God puts in your path. I think God likes it when we admire His Creation.   Dave Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Water in a Dry Place

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  It was a fun, but challenging week at Camp Shiloh in Wyoming, teaching 45 kids, ages 6-16, from extremely diverse backgrounds. Some of the kids were from solid Christian homes and have been at camp every summer for many years. Others were there for the first time and came from extremely difficult home situations. In addition there are cultural differences, as about ¼ of the kids are Native Americans from a nearby reservation. The knowledge level and spiritual understanding of the kids was so varied. Some were strong believers in Jesus – others didn’t even know who He is. Teaching such a diverse group can be a real challenge, but we believe each child came by God’s sovereignty and design. Each one is fearfully and wonderfully made and needs to know the truth of Creation and the wonderful love of the Lord in salvation. Camp Shiloh is an interdenominational camp held at Circle J ranch near Ten Sleep, WY, at the base of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. The camp sits in a magnificent canyon, and has an interesting history as a cattle ranch, apple orchard, and now a Christian camp and retreat center. Our meetings were held in a quaint historic chapel, and we enjoyed watching a flock of sheep pastured near our campsite, a cattle-drive down the main highway one morning, and the beautiful rushing river that ran through the camp. The only down-side was the heat during the day and the gale-force winds that threatened to blow us away one night (quite an experience in our little roof-top tent!) Creation ministry on the road sometimes has other interesting “challenges.” One night, I had an unexpected surprise as I made a mid-night journey across the camp to the necessary facilities. As I rounded the corner to the bathhouse, I was royally doused by a sprinkler, right by the door of the ladies’ bathhouse! I managed to get inside and do my business, but managed to get doused again as I tried to dodge the sprinkler on my way out. I’m glad it was a warm night. It really was pretty funny, and now I know how they keep the grass so beautifully green in this dry canyon country! We pray that God will water the seeds planted in the hearts of kids that week and touch the life of each child at their level of need. May the lessons learned through the teachings, songs, memory verses, crafts, games, cabin times, and relationships take root and grow strong. What a privilege and blessing it is to teach the truth of Creation, the reliability of the Word, and the wonderful gift of salvation in Jesus!   Mary Jo Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep...

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Glad Tidings Bible Camp

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  A couple of weeks ago, I was at Glad Tidings Bible Camp teaching a group of 5th and 6th graders.  They were a lively bunch of kids, full of energy!  It was hard trying to keep up with them.  The time was full of new games and activities. One day, we took a short run in the morning after flag raising.  I played carpet ball with them.  At first they beat me every time, but I eventually got the hang of it.  I participated in ‘capture the flag’ and of course got caught and sent to jail early on in the game.  I also had the opportunity to play ‘gaga ball’ for the first time.  It is a fun and active game. I didn’t just play at camp, there was also chapel time where I taught on creation/Genesis accompanied with the gospel message.  I have discovered by really being a part of the campers lives they are more open to listening to me and the gospel.  There is definitely more to camp than just fun and teaching, there is also counseling. I discover many people who are hurting, confused, and some are in need of some spiritual advice.  I probably spend more time in counseling than teaching.  The needs are so great!  People want more than just milk, they want meat!  Even children!  People want to know the in-depth teachings of Scripture.  It is fun to learn the truth if you use the Bible as your guide to study true science.  It is a delight to see both young and old grow in the LORD!  Thanks for making times like this possible.     Rich Stepanek If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Comfort in the Gospel

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 in Johnsons from the Front | 0 comments

  In all our seminars, Vacation Bible Schools (VBS), and Bible camps, I always share the gospel message in one way or another. At camps and VBS I usually have time to do a skit using three men and my wife to visually demonstrate why Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Part of that presentation involves Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This verse tells us that it is not by anything we can do ourselves that sin is removed from our lives … it is all about what Jesus did for us on the cross. We have seen many children over the years respond to the gospel message after this presentation. Just last week I was reminded that God’s grace not only impacts our lives with the gift of salvation, but His grace also gives us great comfort. After finishing a salvation message at a VBS last week, I stopped to talk to a woman seated in the auditorium. Even though this particular VBS was a children’s program, instead of a family program that we normally do, this lady had attended every teaching session that week. She shared that she had been having a very rough week, with a lot of conflict and difficulties within her family. She said that when she came that day, she was at the brink of her endurance, but the gospel message had given her a renewed hope and comfort. She was reminded how much Jesus really cared for and loved her, that He was willing to die for her sins. It was that love that gave her great comfort and a renewed strength to face her troubles. When was the last time you pondered the cross and gave thanks for your salvation and gained comfort in it?   Lanny Johnson If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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